Outside the box

Yesterday husband and I visited the Terry Pratchett exhibition at Salisbury Museum, we were among a wide demographic of Terry fans from children in wizard costumes to Discworld aficionados sharing their knowledge freely and loudly!  People had travelled from far and wide to experience the exhibition and learn more about their favourite author, the Godfather of Imagintastic.

Until I met husband I had not read a Terry Pratchett novel, the majority of the novels take place on Discworld,  which is  a bit like our own except that it’s flat and is supported by 4 elephants who ride on the back of a turtle called the Great A’Tuin – sound implausible?  Not really when you consider President Trump, driverless cars and the rising popularity of suicide bombings.  In fact Discworld seems to be an infinitely more sensible place to reside rather than our own planet right now.

Kari Sperring Discworld

It’s not just the fantasy planet but the complexity of the characters and their back stories that inflames our imaginations.  He transports us back to our childhoods without belittling and makes us sympathise with situations without feeling pity, he is an expert in ‘headology’.  On a first read the plots appear to be light and frothy but scratch the type slightly with the edge of your fingernail and the letters will tumble away to expose a darker sentiment and the grubbier aspects of the human character emerge in all their horribleness.  This combination of light and shade makes your read a journey through light and shade guided by a mouth-watering lexicon of frivolous fantasticalness.

nanny ogg
The forerunner of the Feminist movement

Whatever the age of the book, his satire is contemporary and razor sharp and if you can read one  without laughing out loud you may well be ‘breathily challenged.’  I should know this because our bookcase has one full shelf dedicated to Terry Pratchett printware – I’ve read each one –  and his co-writers and I cannot begin to describe what fate may befall me if I move them out of alphabetical order!

Be More Terry is a slogan that Rob Wilkins and Stephen Briggs came up with to remind themselves they should try to remain true to the way Terry Pratchett would handle situations that life might throw at us and so in this spirit my resolutions for 2018 are:-

Embrace the marvellous, fantastical and absurd

Belly-laugh more frequently

Thumb my nose at bureaucracy

Encourage my imagination to starting rioting in full technicolour

Invent words and use them with such confidence that people believe they are truebegivens

Be More Terry

So wherever 2018 leads you and whatever you may accomplish please do it Being More Terry

Terry Pratchett exhibition is on at Salisbury Museum until 13th January, if you’re nearby take a peek – it’s worth the visit.



Feeling Festive …. No, so eff off

Holly wasn’t feeling particularly festive and it didn’t seem like there was anything we could do to change her mind.

Holly Feeling Festive
No matter what we said, Holly wouldn’t exude Christmas Cheer


I couldn’t help but sympathise with her, on my pre-Christmas food shop I was mowed down by a very grumpy pensioner on a mobility scooter and was nearly crushed to death by a biscuit display!  Honestly, who stacks the metal, yes that’s right metal, biscuits boxes to over 8ft high and 4ft deep.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was my trolley that connected with the metal biscuit mountain and then I would have felt somewhat culpable instead I felt light-headed and a little bit bruised as tins showered down on my head and bounced around me.  The real miscreant had already sprinted off like a hit and run professional and therefore it was me that had to endure the tuts, raised eyebrows and small tight supercilious head shakes as the caring and sympathetic – NOT – shoppers went by kicking biscuit tins out of their way.

By the time I got to the bread counter I asked the slicer that considering many Mothers were  giving their kids a bag of crisps or chocolate from the trolley as an inducement for good behaviour, would the same understanding approach be extended to me  if I started necking from the bottle of wine that was in mine, apparently it would be fine but only if I shared it with her.  She looked as enchanted as I felt and she warned of worse to come, last year apparently there had been a physical fist fight over the last stalk of organic Brussels – the manager had to intervene and got hit with a bag of jumbo peanuts for his troubles, he was assaulted!!

The shops are shut for one day only but on 22nd December at 8am my local supermarket looked like Armageddon was around the corner and food shortages would take hold any second.  I managed to get in and out in 35 minutes, 10 of those had been spent queueing and not forgetting the time spent rubbing my skinned shin and removing fragments of custard cream from my hair

New Year celebrations – forget it!  I’m not going near a shop until mid January and so between now and then we’re living on Christmas left overs and tinned spaghetti, who knows I might even find a personality in the bottom of my cereal box along with the quality toy.

cereal box toys
Forget the plastic crap, is there a sense of humour at the bottom of that box?




Decolletage Decorum and the Question of Cleavage

jessica rabbit
The greatest enhanced cleavage, she’s not bad she’s just drawn that way


The Christmas party season is well and truly upon us and so the party wardrobes are out along with a lot of naked flesh, which is odd considering for us residents of the Northern hemisphere it’s the coldest time of the year and yet this is when we choose to wear the least.

Last week husband and I were invited to a society black tie dinner and apart from the host we didn’t know anyone at our table.  Gazing across the ballroom I looked out upon  a rainbow of chiffon, organza and sequins gliding across the floor not dissimilar from the set of a 1940’s movie.

Then, from across the room sashayed a dress like no other, it was a black halter neck slashed to the navel just about covering the most perfect pair of breasts I had ever seen, completely transfixed by the sight of them coming towards me static and stupendous, I was staring and I knew it.  I turned to say something to husband only to find him also mesmerised,  mouth slightly ajar and head at a slight angle giving him the disturbing look of a stroke victim.  He mumbled something that sounded like ‘Christ Almighty’ in the reverential tones of a man communing with his maker and he had lost the ability to blink with eyes fixated on breasts that were growing larger as they came ever closer.  Flippantly I turned to our host and said ‘blimey she’ll have someone’s eye out with those’ just as he leapt up to greet her, as luck would have it she was seated at our table!   Her boobs were perfectly matched to her personality; extrovert, perky with plenty of attitude – she was a very welcome addition to the table and great company. If only I could have looked her in the face, I spent the whole evening behaving like a lecherous git.

Cleavage 3

But here’s the question, is it acceptable to compliment someone on their boobs – woman to woman? Especially if they are quite obviously not the ones she was born with?  Let’s be honest when we spend excessively on shoes, handbag or a dress we do so in the hope that it will be admired and therefore validate the exchange of massive cash for said items.  Is it the same with boobs?  If you can see  that a few thousand pounds have been forked out shouldn’t you being able to applaud your fellow sister on the workmanship and effort undertaken to acquire them, or do we play dumb and pretend we didn’t notice?

Would it be OK to say when greeting someone ‘fantastic shoes, and those boobs are to die for’ or ‘great dress and love what you’ve done with your boobs.’

It’s hard to ignore these magnificent mammaries so prominently on display at this time of year already I am starting to think that the pneumatic bosom is the Christmas must have accessory and not the brocade boots I have invested in – what was I thinking, duh.

brocade boots
I totally misjudged this seasons favourite fashion item

Suffering from seasonal bosom envy I’ve purchased some very sturdy balconette bras and whilst I won’t be taking anyone’s eye out I may do your chin some damage!

If anyone can help with silicone etiquette protocol please let me know.



I decided to take on the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, an international initiative to encourage writers and would-be writers to produce a 50,000 word novel in a month.

NaNoWriMo Mission Statement

National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.

You can’t help but get bitten by the writing bug because they are so encouraging and enthusiastic and supply prospective writers with all the tools required to create a novel.  They guide every member along their novel writing journey providing tips and ideas of how to birth the baby novel that lies in each of us.  There are workshops, pep talks and coaches on call throughout the month to answer any questions we may have.

In short – outstanding and very helpful.  The only thing they don’t do is actually write the novel for us, and this is where the process gets a bit sticky ….  Like most things in life I had not prepared for this exercise in any way whatsoever,  so why I was surprised when I realised this needed real work and proper grown-up effort.   A flashback of my O’Levels came scurrying through my brain.

Writing 50,000 words in a 30 day period equates to approximately 1,667 words per day.  If it sounds like a lot that’s because it is.  In fact it’s a massive undertaking when you realise that your would be novel has a beginning, a middle and an end but absolutely no sub-plots, twists, turns or additional points of conflict.  I have been so used to entering Flash Fiction competitions or jotting down these whimsical blogs that my word count is usually at 1,000 words tops – not much room for an additional verb let alone a red herring!

However it has made me realise that I really do want to write a book no matter how bad and no matter how long it takes. Considering my word count of today is 2,450 words I’m 17,554 words behind target with an estimated finish date of Sunday 15th July 2018!

I’m always in awe of published authors every time I finish a book and admire their tenacity to complete their story which started out as a tiny twinkle of idea.  They, unlike me are not distracted by the 2nd Series of Greenleaf, the ironing or Indiana Jones movies, they get on and do it – which is what I will continue to do, soon as I’ve made a cup of hot chocolate and eaten a piece of Dorset apple cake.

Would love to hear from anyone who is also taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge.

In Praise of Ordinary


I was at a BBQ on Sunday chatting to a woman who suddenly got her phone out her bag and smiled at me apologetically as she said “sorry ‘bout this just got to upload to Insta”.

Strange I thought, but whatever blows your hair back “a photo of this BBQ?” I asked  “God no” she replied “this is so bloody dull, it’s a photo from my holiday about 3 months ago, but nobody will know that” and so an amazing sunset photo (not unlike the one above) got uploaded and her countless – I’m guessing here –  Instagram followers were none the wiser.

Not only fake news, but now fake lives.

Which made me think; firstly if she was that bored why didn’t make her excuses and go home but also surely her true friends (read that bit carefully) would know she wasn’t away gazing at some heaven sent sunset in a different time zone and that she was firmly planted in the UK for the bank holiday weekend.  And then, that made me think ‘so what is wrong with ordinary?’  Why can’t we have normal hum-drum lives anymore?  Why should we try to convince others and I suspect therefore ourselves that we live a life of non-stop international travel, fine wine and fabulous sunsets.  Why should we be embarrassed to admit we neither aspire to, or can afford that type of lifestyle.

Ordinary is not bad, ordinary allows us to set our pace, our external metronome which helps us plan out our weeks and months.  Routine gives many people a sense of comfort and a feeling of stability and belonging so why try to hide from it or worse still deride it.

We appear to be living in a world where the pervasive aroma is one of entitlement, people believing they deserve to be happy every day and I think it stinks!

After surviving the Second World War do you think our grandparents demanded skiing holidays, dinner disguised as works of art and en-suite bathrooms redecorated every 2 years?  Of course not, they loved the ordinary, welcomed the back to normal and who wouldn’t after having Hitler bomb the crap out of you for 6 years.

When we get to experience the extra-ordinary it is in its very essence why it becomes so special because it’s EXTRA-ORDINARY.  If we had rainbows, beach side cocktails and waterfalls every day would we appreciate them as much, I doubt it.  And it couldn’t be more apparent that even beautiful can wear thin, where in the movie White Mischief Alice de Janze throws open the shutters and laments “Oh God, not another fucking beautiful day.”


Viva the ordinary, viva routine now where did I leave my knitting?



Sunset photo by Azrul Aziz on Unsplash
Rainbow and waterfall photo by Dylan Gialanella on Unsplash
Knitting photo Photo by MabelAmber® on Unsplash


What rhymes with orange?


Several months ago I wrote about the trials of 30+ years of hair colouring and the various catastrophes that have occurred.  I also wrote about being a little concerned that I was morphing into Mrs Slocombe but I can put that all behind me now, as it’s got much much worse.

Mrs Slocombe 3
I can only dream to look like Mrs Slocombe

Coming home from work on another rainy August day I felt like I needed colour to brighten up this miserable summer and quite obviously being dressed in pink Capri pants and a lime green top didn’t seem to be enough, so I had the great idea that I would revert to being a red head.

But not any old red head, the box said Scandalous Scarlet. Never mind scandalous, the result was f***ing outrageous.  There appears to be a lot more grey covering my head than previously thought and  those melanin deficient strands vaulted straight past red altogether and have become right orange!  At first glance it looks as though I’ve taken tips from Donald Trump’s beautician.

Donald Trump
Orange is such a happy colour

And if it was lairy when flat, with the added lift provided by obligatory hair styling product I look like a gonk!

orange gonk
Seriously …

Although I defy anyone to try and sit me on top their computer screen!


Festival Fever

And why I’m so glad I haven’t contracted it

festival 1

It seems you can’t turn sideways these days without bumping into a festival.  They are no longer the preserve of the music industry and appear to celebrate a wide variety of hobbies and interests including yoga, fishing, comedy and knitting!  Every day events are jumping on the festival wagon by using ‘Fest’ as a suffix or prefix to make their event sound more chic and presumably attract  greater attendance figures.

Some of my friends have taken a turn of middle age hysteria by embracing all things festival and extol the virtues of leaving societal norms behind, opening up to new experiences and a different way of thinking.  I can only envisage the experience I would have sharing a field with a lot of pissed people and I don’t think it would make me particularly happy or free thinking, but it does have visions of me shouting for silence.

festival 4

Imagine trying to explain to a refugee that you leave the sanctity and safety of your house with electricity and running water to spend several days either wallowing in mud or baking under the glaring sun, sleeping in a tent, queuing for food and having to share a latrine with hundreds if not thousands of strangers.  And then add that you do this for fun and pay highly for the privilege, they would quite rightly think you had completely lost your mind.

festival 5
It seemed like a good idea at the time

But that’s what millions of Brits do each summer.  Having been struck with festival fever they move from one to another with reckless abandon and then come back and to evangelise to non-believers, which let’s be honest is a little bit patronising.  I can’t understand why they deride me for not wanting to experience this modern day rally, I studied to be a field guide and was more than  happy to sleep under the stars without any canvas but the festival I experienced there was the festival of nature and sounds of the bush which I believe are the most beautiful and melodic of all.

So all the time I have breath in my body I will not be attending any festival, but I’ll race you to the Kruger Park –  last one to kiss a hippo is a sissy!

acacia tortillis